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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Romney 45, Joe Biden 29, Paul Ryan 21, Us 20, Benghazi 20, Biden 20, Obama 17, America 12, U.s. 10, Wolf Blitzer 8, Libya 8, United States 8, Cnn 8, Mitt Romney 7, Lance Armstrong 6, Navy 6, Bill Clinton 6, Syria 5, Campbell 5, Clinton 5,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    October 10, 2012
    1:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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their rights. >> again, that interview was a couple months ago. i can tell you now that surgeons have been working for three hours to remove a bullet lodged in malala's neck. she is alive for now. but the taliban are not giving up. they say next time she will not survive. mala malala, 14 years old. thanks so much for being with me here on this wednesday. i'm brooke baldwin. now to wolf blitzer for "the situation room." wolf. brooke, thanks very much. happening now, mitt romney forced to change his stump speech because of a military mother's plea. also this hour, two cnn exclusive interviews. my one-on-one with mitt romney and his running mate paul ryan speaks with dana bash. and another round of bitter partisan bickering breaking out as congress discloses new details about the attack on the u.s. diplomatic compounds in benghazi. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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with just 27 days to go until the presidential election, we begin with mitt romney's bumpy day out there on the campaign trail. first, his campaign had to clarify something romney said earlier about abortion later. they said romney will stop telling a new story apparently designed to show his softer side. cnn's national political correspondent jim acosta is in ohio right now on the road with the romney campaign. >> reporter: wolf, mitt romney's been trying to open up to voters in recent days telling stories of friends who have died, even service members who have died in combat. but the mother of one falling navy s.e.a.l.s. says she's offended as democrats accuse romney of trying to hide his true beliefs. it's been a staple of the stump
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speeches, the gop nominee talking about the deaths of friends, even soldier who is have inspired him. >> i've met some wonderful people. one was a former navy s.e.a.l.s. glen dougherty. and we chatted for a while. >> reporter: at three events in the last two days romney has gotten choked up. >> it touched me, obviously, as i recognized this young man that i thought was so impressive had lost his life. >> reporter: as he hailed the bravery of navy s.e.a.l.s. glen dougherty who died in last month's attack in libya. >> when they heard that the consulate was under attack, they went to the attack. they didn't hunker down and hide themselves. no, they went there. that's what americans do. >> reporter: but within hour of romney's last telling of the story, his aides confirmed to cnn the gop nominee is dropping the anecdote after what the navy s.e.a.l.s. mother told boston tv
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station whdh. she said "i don't trust romney, he shouldn't make my son's death part of his political agenda. it's wrong to use these brave young men who wanted freedom for all to degrade obama. governor romney was inspired by the memory of meeting glenn dougherty and shared his story in that memory. but we respect the wishes of mrs. doherty. he started telling the tales last week. >> chris died for them to be able to protest. >> reporter: jawhoton said one the last things my husband said to me when he was killed, i would ask him what do you need over there, he said i need a new president. the heart wrenching stories have been a departure from romney's focus on the economy. >> my whole passion is about helping the american people who are struggling right now. >> i thought, wow, here's old
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moderate mitt. where you been, boy? >> reporter: but democrats including bill clinton say romney has been trying to shift back to the center ever since last week's debate. the obama campaign is pointing to what romney said to "the des moines register" on the issue of abortion. >> there's no legislation with regards to abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda. >> reporter: contrast that with what he said at a town hall last year. >> what i would like to see happen would be for the supreme court to say, look, we're going to overturn rowe v. wade and return to the states whether they want to have abortion or not. >> severely conservative positions that got him through the gop primary are still there. now he's trying to cover them up. >> reporter: asked about those comments on abortion, a romney campaign spokeswoman released a statement to cnn saying the gop nominee will be a pro-life president. >> jim acosta in ohio traveling with romney. in just a few minutes we'll have some of my interview with mitt romney.
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also, we had an exclusive interview, we at cnn, with the republican running mate paul ryan. he's getting ready for thursday night's debate against the vice president joe biden. you can watch extensive coverage all starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night. here in washington this afternoon the investigation into the september 11th attack on the u.s. diplomatic consulate in benghazi, libya, turned sharply political. even as we learn new details about what happened before and after the deadly attack. let's go to cnn's foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty. she's got the latest information. how did it go, jill? >> reporter: wolf, i can tell you it was extremely vi tri alic. we heard this exchange extraordinary between dennis ross, congressman from florida, republican, directly asking the ambassador, patrick kennedy, whether or not there was any political pressure.
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ambassador kennedy said, on my honor after 39 years of serving i can guarantee you there was no political pressure applied. and ross countered that by saying then it was professional protocol malpractice. that is the level of discussion that we heard this afternoon. >> will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. >> reporter: within minutes the congressional hearing on the attack in benghazi turned into a partisan fire fight. >> sir, there were seven. and their job was also to hook up with the -- >> point of order. point of order. >> the gentleman stays point of order. >> again, i would renew my deep concern that we're getting into an area that is classified and should be classified. >> this whole hearing is responding to allegations that there were not enough people on the ground at the benghazi facility. those accusations that youade publicly so that now i'm trying to get an answer to how many people were there and all of a sudden that's off the record? that's classified information?
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you got to be kidding me. >> reporter: republicans on the committee accuse the obama administration of ignoring the growing danger in benghazi. >> to start off by saying you had the correct number and our ambassador and three other individuals are dead and people in the hospital recovering because it only took moments to breach that facility somehow doesn't seem to ring true to the american people. >> reporter: democrats accused republicans of slashing funding for diplomatic security. >> the fact is that since 2011 the house has cut embassy security by hundreds of millions of dollars below the amounts requested by the president. >> reporter: at one point a member of the committee even accused state department officials of showing an aerial photograph of the benghazi compound that he thought should be classified. >> mr. chairman, i'm concerned that we're getting into classified issues that deal with sources and methods that would be totally inappropriate in open forum such as this. >> this information is available, sir, for public
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dissemination, yes, sir. >> reporter: one of the witnesses continued to insist the state department didn't do enough. >> when i asked assets, instead of supporting those assets, i was criticized. and somehow it was my responsibility to come up with a plan on the ground and not the responsibility for d.s. i raised that specific point in a meeting with the d.s. director in march that 60 days there was no plan. and it was hope that everything would get better. >> reporter: so, did this hearing actually uncover any really new facts? it really doesn't appear so. in fact, the top state department official cautioned the committee that until those three investigations that are underway, state department, fbi and the congressional investigation conclude, that actually you're dealing with an incomplete picture, wolf. >> and the state department now believes, jill, that the 14-minute anti-muslim trailer out there on youtube, that had absolutely nothing to do with the attack on the diplomatic
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consulate in benghazi despite what the administration was saying in the days that followed. >> reporter: it appears that way, wolf. although i don't think i would put it quite as specifically and concretely as you are. what they're saying is it doesn't appear. that evening they say at the benghazi mission it was quiet. and by implication they're saying there was nothing going on that would lead them to believe there was going to be an attack. again, we're going to have to get the final investigation. but, yes, it appears that they're stepping back from that original explanation. >> jill, thanks very much. jill dougherty at the state department. there's plenty of political bickering going on when it comes to taxes. up next, you're going to hear what mitt romney has to say about his plan, what it could mean for you. also, lance armstrong is linked to what one group calls the most sophisticated doping program in cycling history. e 70,000 trades. ♪
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so what's going to happen to your taxes will most certainly be one of the topics paul ryan and joe biden debate thursday night. during my exclusive interview here in "the situation room," mitt romney went into more detail about his own plans for your taxes. >> well, i've made it pretty clear that my principles are number one, simplify the code, number two, create incentives for small businesses and large businesses to grow, number three, don't reduce the burden on high income taxpayers. and number four, remove the burden somewhat from middle income people. so i don't want to raise taxes on any group of americans. those are the principles. the same time how we carry them out would be lowering the rate -- the tax rate, across the board. and then making up for that both with additional growth and with putting a limit on deductions and exemptions particularlyor people at the high end. those are principles that form the basis of what i would do with our tax proposal.
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what i want to do is to make it simpler, fairer. i want to encourage the economy to grow again. it's pretty clear that the economy is not growing at the rate it should under the president. and i can tell you with regards to the deductions you describe, home mortgage interest deduction and charitable contradictions will of course continue to be preferences for those types of expenses. >> so even wealthy people, would you put a cap on how much they could deduct, for example, as far as charitable contributions are concerned? because i've heard you mention the $17,000 cap, if you will, for some folks out there. i'd like you to elaborate, if you don't mind. >> well, i'm not going to lay out a piece of legislation here because i intend to work together with republicans and democrats in congress, but there are a number of ways one could approach this. one would be to have a total cap number. it could be $25,000, $50,000. and people could put whatever deduction in that total cap they'd like. orinstead you can take the posture that boll simpson did
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which is going after specific deductions and limiting them in various ways. there are a number of ways we can accomplish the principles that i have, lowering rates middle income people, making sure high income people don't pay a smaller share and simplifying the code and encouraging growth. so as to how we approach the various deduction limits and -- what i do know is we're going to have to reduce the deductions pretty substantially for people at the high end because i don't want to make the code less progressive. i want high income people to continue to pay the same share they do today. >> and soy that will pay exactly the same even though you're going to lower the income tax rates for people making let's say more than $250,000 a year. but you're going to eliminate some loopholes and deductions, exemptions, tax credits, is that what i'm hearing? >> that's right. i' bring the rate down across the board, but eliminate or limit rather deductions or credits and exemptions so forth particularly for people at the high end because you have to do that to make sure that
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distributionly we continue to have the high income people still pay the same share, the high share they pay today. >> would that add up to the $4.8 -- or $5 trillion your comprehensive tax reductions would cost? >> well, actually, the president's charge of $5 trillion tax cut is obviously inaccurate and wrong because what he says is, all right, let's look at all the rates you're lowering. and then ignores the fact i say we're going to limit deductions and credits and exemptions. he ignores that part. obviously that was corrected by his deputy campaign manager who said sh stipulated in fact the $5 trillion number was wrong. it's completely wrong. the combination of limiting deductions and credits and exemptions as well as growth of our economy will make up for the reduction in rate. the reason for loring the rate, by the way, let's make it very clear, the reason for lowering the rate both for individuals as
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well as for corporations and the president's plan also lowers the rate for corporations, the reason for doing so is to make sure that america is a more attractive place for small business and for large business to invest and to add jobs. this is about economic growth. this is about getting more jobs. we're not seeing the kind of job creation america ought to see following a recession. and we're not going to see that growth unless we have a tax policy which encourages businesses, small and large, to make investments and to hire people. that's why i want to put in place the plan i've described. by the way, it's been scored by people at rice university as creating about 7 million new jobs. the president's plan on the other hand cuts 700,000 jobs. >> mitt romney speaking with me. he made some news during that interview including his mention of capping tax deductions, potentially a $25,000 or $50,000. those are higher numbers than he's mentioned before. let's assess what's going on. our chief polical analyst, gloria borger, is here in "the
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situation room." he's under a lot of pressure to be more specific. but there's a potential downside politically if he gets a lot more specific in terms of how he wants to pay for those across the board tax cuts. >> right. it's clearly going to push mitt romney for more specifics. and the reason is he's talking about tax cuts and deficit reduction at the same time. and the pew poll that came out earlier this week, wolf, said six in ten voters believe that romney is promising more than he can deliver. one reason bill clinton's speech was so popular at the democratic convention was he said the arithmetic doesn't add up. so you can push is this just rhetoric during a campaign, or is this real? if you want to close tax
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loopholes, okay, fine. what loopholes would you close? he's got to answer that. and so far hasn't done it. >> his argument is i don't want to put all that out right now. because if he's president, he's going to have to negotiate all those issues with democrats. and why put your own position out right now. >> sure. >> i don't know if his argument's going to necessarily hold. that's another matter. a lot of folks have seen romney over these past couple weeks at the debate, in the interview with me, moving more towards the center. do you see that? >> i did. i saw that particularly in your interview when he talked about the wealthy and how his tax plan would affect the wealthy. because of course the obama team is saying, you know, mitt romney is for reducing taxes for the wealthy, doesn't care about the middle class. he wants to keep the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. and what he said to you in that little clip you showed, let me just say this again, he said that wealthy would "continue to
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pay the same share of taxes they do today." so what he's saying is that even though you're going to reform the tax code and you may take away some of their deductions, he is saying the wealthiest final tax bill even if you lower their rates, their final tax bill is going to remain unchanged while the middle class will have a reduction in their taxes. so now he's on the record, wolf, saying that. and i think one of the reasons is that the obama campaign has made a lot of headway with voters who believe that mitt romney favors the wealthy. and among swing voters in this pew poll there was an absolute tie on who would be better on the issue of taxes. so that's clearly something that each campaign is going to be using in the future in trying to get some advantage on it. >> i think it will be a huge issue at tomorrow night's debate among the vice presidential contenders. >> absolutely. >> and next week the second presidential debate. gloria, thanks very much. >> sure. much more on the political world coming up. also other news we're following.
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heathrow airport after arriving on a flight from egypt. it isn't clear if they were headed to syria or if they had already been there. police are now searching two homes in britain as part of that investigation. and affirmative actions days may be numbered after oral arguments today at the u.s. supreme court. the conservative majority questioned how raised conscious admissions are event effective. high school student abigail fisher sued the university of texas claiming she wasn't admitted because she's white. a decision isn't expected before early next year. and we've tamed the dragon. those are the words of an astronaut on the international space station after linking up with a capsule sent by the company spacex. the capsule is filled with 1,000 pounds of supplies for the space station. spacex is trying to figure out why one of nine engines on its rocket malfunctioned during takeoff. and take a look at this.
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you've got to watch this cheerleader as she keeps going and going and going and going. and she keeps going until she sets a guinness world record by doing 35 consecutive back flips. 16-year-old miranda ferguson is a 16-year-old out of dallas. she broke the record by three flips. she admitted she was tiring near the end but had enough pep to set the new record. >> good for her. >> that's amazing stuff. somehow or another -- >> i wonder how dizzy she gets doing that. >> she might end up in some kind of commercial or some sort. >> can you do even one? >> not even one. would not even try it, wolf. >> wouldn't think about it. i get dizzy just looking at it. >> that's right. here's a question we've been pondering. is mitt romney swaying to the middle right now? the former president bill clinton certainly thinks so. he's not alone. our special panel is standing by next. [ male announcer ] behold the joy, bliss and total delight
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the skip-a-year mortgage sweepstakes. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze! the skip-a-year mortgage sweepstakes. i"i'm not in favor of a a$5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan." mitchell: "the nonpartisan tax policy center concluded that mitt romney's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years." vo: why won't romney level with us about his tax plan, which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? because according to experts, he'd have to raise taxes on the middle class - or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here... how could we ever trust him here?
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i'm wolf blitzer. here's a look at what's ahead in the next couple of hours. we're learning new details on what the vice president joe biden is doing to prepare for tomorrow night's debate. also, our john king is focusing in on a key group of ohio voters who could decide the election. and forg funding big bird. what about joe biden's favorite ride? we're talking amtrak. we'll explain. stand by. you're in "the situation room." with just 27 days to go until the election, democrats say mitt romney is running to the political center as fast as he can. among other things, they're pointing to romney's comments today about abortion. here's a quick snapshot. >> mitt romney said "there's no legislation with regards to
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abortion that i'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda." and that statement doesn't really gel with some of the things he said before. >> the idea the federal government funding planned parenthood, they're going to say no, we're going to stop that. >> the obama campaign saying this represents a candidate trying to move to the center. >> like we saw again sort of a shifting towards bipartisanship. >> i'm not going to lay out a piece of legislation here because i intend to work with republicans and democrats in congress. >> wow. here's old moderate mitt. where you been, boy? i missed you all these last two years. >> let's get straight to cnn contributor, the sirius xm radio host pete dominick. he's got a good panel. >> thank you, wolf blitzer, for letting us squat in "the situation room" for a few minutes. we have a very important conversation about what we just saw. it's moderate mitt. by the way, i think bill clinton took my unsolicited advice last week which was to get out there
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on the campaign trail. but, guys, what are we witnessing right now? mitt romney will say one thing in an interview or a speech and then his staff literally walks it back on iran, on tax policy, on health policy and now on abortion. my opinion is, yeah, he may have great principles personally as a father, as a husband and as a mormon, but his political principles, where are they, margaret? come on. >> what you're referring to specifically, let's just be very clear is he said in des moines last week there's no specific legislation regarding abortion that he would champion when he's president. and then his campaign said, well, he does want to do as an executive order repeal the policy that says nongovernmental organizations abroad shouldn't get federal tax dollars for abortions, not an extreme position by the way. when president obama overturned it, which also president bush hadover turned then bill clinton overturned, 58% of americans agree with that policy. so it's not extreme. >> but they don't agree with defunding planned parent hohoop.
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i would "get rid of planned parenthood." that sounds like legislation to me. planned parpt hood, if you don't like abortions, they prevent more abortions than any other organization in the country. >> but he's saying what his position is. but the president doesn't get elected -- we all know the president doesn't get elected and then just wipe planned parenthood off the map. >> when it comes to mitt romney, we'll call it moderation, when it comes to barack obama, i think the word of choice is evolution. >> fine. >> last i saw he evolved on gaye marriage. he evolved on things like the dream act and givi that executive order. so, listen, these things happen in campaigns. >> ana, this is exceptional. >> yeah. >> you're right. obama is a politician. he evolved, he flipped. but mitt romney on everything -- >> oh, i don't know if you want to call him moderate mitt, i like to call him in the lead. that works for me. >> you can look at the scoreboard. >> romney's going to play a very fine line because he is trying to move to the middle. and what we need to do on the
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democratic side is say he moves both ways. he's inconsistent. he really has no backbone, no spine. you cannot have that type of personality when you're a president of the united states. in every position that he has ever held in the governor and now as a candidate he's flipped positions on any issue he's ever had to deal with. >> not any. >> wait. come on. >> during the republican debates, his opponents kept saying, wait a minute, when you were governor of massachusetts you were for gay marriage, pro-abortion rights. he says i changed since then. so he changed during the republican time and now he's changing back. >> toto, we're not in kansas anymore. mitt, we're not in the republican primary anymore. we're not running for a faction of the republican party. we're running to be government -- to lead the government of the entire united states. >> so say whatever he wants as long as he gets elected. >> i don't know where the moral high ground is for president obama on this.
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remember the guy who wasn't going to take money from super pacs? >> absolutely. good point. another one. you've noted too, those are both right and evolution on gay marriage is ridiculous. but that's not a flip. he tried to guantanamo bay. so did bush and mccain. but this is unprecedented. and when i talk to my radio listeners and when you hear people, they don't care about substance and policy as much as i think theshtd, they care about principle and character. >> president obama set the precedent and did it without having a primary. >> i want to take issue with the notion everything he said before is completely different than what he's saying now. i didn't say you are saying it. but there's this narrative that somehow mitt romney's changed on everything. that is categorically untrue. he's principle keystone romney care which he constantly refers to, he refused to run away from it which conservatives would have been happy, were begging him to change his mind on.
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he never changed his views on his most important signature policy agenda item. >> he didn't run away from it. but he never brought it up. and it was the best thing he ever did. >> i think what i'm getting at is frankly probably a flaw in the republican primary system more than it is a problem with mitt romney being -- >> what about this. >> consistent. >> when he says something -- and i'd love to hear an example, maybe there are. he'll go out on a limb and say something now, the moderate mitt, and then his staff has to walk it back. you can fool some of the people some of the time and all the people all the time. >> we've spent the last two weeks walking back what the administration said on benghazi. let's put this in perspective. >> wait a minute. let's talk about mitt for just a little bit more. when he was a governor, he was a moderate mitt. i know mitt romney. i know the moderate mitt romney. but the last six years he's been running for president. and he's been anything but moderate. he has been the one who can win the republican nomination by
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being to the right of newt gingrich, to the right of santorum. and now once he has the nomination, he says, no, actually i'm going to spend more money than the current administration. i am going to blow the deficit up even larger. and by the way, all republicans, almost all republicans nationwide said we want to repeal row-wade and now says actually if you elect me, no chance. >> if we get too much caught up on him being moderate or being conservative, i'm not sure that the democrats taking advantage. where they've taken advantage is show him as someone without a consistent point of view willing to say anything because the president has to be someone who makes tough decisions even when they're unpop ulular. we'll see if that plays out. >> the bottom line he is more conservative than president obama. >> are you sure? >> absolutely. and conservatives know with a mitt romney in the white house they will get more conservative judges in federal positions. they will get -- they probably won't get, you know, the executive orders allowing
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international funding of abortion. that's the choice. >> that is true. of course that's true. but nobody has a problem with someone changing their mind given new information or a new experience. nobody has a problem. that's fine to change your mind. but you can't throw out a trial balloon and say something in a speech on national television and then quietly walk it back later on. you can't try to make everybody happy. it's unprincipled and voters including conservatives don't like that. that's why he had a hard time in the primary because they still don't trust him. >> independents like it even less. i'll grant it he's more conservative than obama, but who's going to win the president? >> he's naowed the gap with women since last week. he's narrowed the gap with almost every demographic group. >> he's walking back all these other statements. i think independents want somebody who's going to work with both sides. >> unfortunately it might come down to 13 people in the back of a pickup truck in ohio. but we have to take a quick break and come back with our unsolicited advice.
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i'm told the governor of montana has a gift for me. very excited. we'll be right back here in wolf blitzer's "the situation room." up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 at schwab, we're committed to offering you tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 low-cost investment options-- tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like our exchange traded funds, or etfs tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 which now have the lowest tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 operating expenses tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 in their respective tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lipper categories. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 lower than spdr tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and even lower than vanguard. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 that means with schwab, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 your portfolio has tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 a better chance to grow. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and you can trade all our etfs online,
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all right. we're back here in wolf blitzer's "the situation room." it's time for our unsolicited advice with our brilliant panel and we're starting with the montana governor who i'm also told has a gift for me. >> we have to spruce you up a little bit. >> uh-oh. >> you have a face for radio. i know that. >> true. >> if we put this on, you can do tv. >> the question is just how tight can we get this -- >> wow. wow. i think wolf blitzer may be getting jealous. you might have to bring one -- this is very cool. what an honor.
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i think i'm going to wear it well like a city slicker. >> i actually have some unsolicited advice for mitt romney. mitt, get a $2 calculator because we heard mitt romney say that he was going to cut taxes by 20%, increase spending on the defense budget by $2 trillion, increase medicare above ryan's idea above $716 billion. you can't take in less and spend more and balance it. that's why mitt romney, buy a $2 calculator and you'll see your plan doesn't work. >> but you're forgetting, you know, we never hear where conservatives want to spend. he wants to spend on defense. he gave a speech to the virginia military institute where he talked about if i'm president i'll buy 11 ships and including three submarines. that's a lot of money. >> the admirals don't even want the ships. just the military industrial complex wants to make the ships.
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>> do you want to take this one? >> you got the line. we're going to rebuild spending on the homeland. >> my bad, yeah. >> in all seriousness. >> because al qaeda's got the submarines threatening. >> governor, you're an elected official. you know when you run on a plan, you can't get -- there's a danger in getting so specific up front that you give away the house before you've even been elected into office. so mitt romney has laid down the principles by which he's going to govern and also banking on economic growth that is factored into the numbers that the cbo uses when they project out the fact check. >> just because mitt romney gets elected president doesn't mean we're going to grow like china. we might get back to 2.5% or 3%. >> the whole segment on this one. go ahead, margaret. >> my unsolicited advice has to do with the millennial generation, the 30 and unders the ones who turned out two to one for president obama, there could be 65 million of them eligible to vote make them 24% of the lek tort if they turn out in the same numbers they did in
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2008. pew research says the enthusiasm is gone for the hope and change generation. my advice for paul ryan is to make a generational appeal. he's the guy who said we can actually look out for the fiscal future of this next generation by reforming these entitlement programs and saving them for society's most vulnerable while looking out for the future of the millennial. actually make an appeal that the next generation should vote for the romney/ryan ticket. >> it's interesting that joe biden, you know, paul ryan was 2 years old when joe biden got elected senate, but joe biden is going to get the youth vote as of now. >> look, the visual of the old liberal lion who represents these old sort of archaic programs that have actually put us on the course of bankruptcy and a fresh thinking face who actually wants to reform the program, save them for society's most vulnerable is actually a great appeal to the millenial generation. >> i think if you check out the play list for the two of them.
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>> on their ipad? >> on their ipods. >> the problem is paul ryan proposed to cut pell grants. and the problem is mitt romney when he was governor he raised tuition for those same college kids. >> my advice is we all know about the meningitis outbreak. thousands may have been infected. and the fda right now has more regulatory authority over chemical plants, drug makers in china than these compound makers -- i'm just getting familiar with this, but these pharmacies that can create drugs and make them more affordable. we need the fda to have more regulatory authority over these compound makers. and congress has to step in and have oversight. if the fda has authority and they didn't enforce it, fine. look into it. but if they don't have it, they need to get it. it's ridiculous. in 2012 we're not china, we're not somalia, people shouldn't be dying when they get a steroid shot. we need regulations that prevent people in america from dying.
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>> but the pharmaceutical industry already bought congress. so good luck. >> good point. campaign finance. ana. >> my unsolicited advice is for actress stacey dash. she said she's going to vote for mitt romney and is taking a lot of flak for it. i'll tell you as a latino on cnn talking about being pro-romney, i get a lot of hate myself. stacey, stick to your guns, speak your mind. be true to yourself. people have died so we have the freedom to speak our mind and to vote our will. it was martin luther king jr.'s dream, the reason john lewis got beat up. be yourself. vote your conscience. and, folks, we are a nation of tolerance and we value diversity and different opinions. >> that's great advice. now plug your twitter so you can get more criticism. how can people reach you? >> @pete dom nic. >> i think biden is way cooler and going to get the youth vote.
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i think where biden differentiates himself tomorrow is showing how he's worked in a bipartisan way naming all the different times as a senator, a vp, that he's worked specifically with republicans to get things done. i think that's where obama differentiates himself also. i think romney and ryan are going too much partisanship. i think the one who wins the independent is a candidate. i'm really going to work with people and i've done it as vp, president and senator. >> i so hope we get to see biden, tomorrow. joe, if you're listening, be yourself. give us some jokes. give us some off color. >> i don't think he can. >> give us some gaffes. >> people like joe biden. >> they do. >> america likes joe biden. >> i like joe biden. >> by the way, joe six-pack white dudes who watch football like joe biden. >> even my dad likes joe biden. we're out of time. thanks so much. another brilliant conversation. i want to thank wolf blitzer for letting us hang out in his "the situation room."
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now back to wolf. >> excellent unsolicited advice pete and company. thanks very much. the republican vice presidential hopeful paul ryan sat down exclusively with cnn. up next, how his hunting routine might help him in tomorrow night's debate. and new allegations about lance armstrong's links to doping. c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. your soups are so awesomely delicious my husband and i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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lisa's back. she's monitoring some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, including this anti-doping agency report involving lance armstrong. >> yeah. this is pretty serious, wolf. the agency says the evidence that cyclist lance armstrong used performance enhancing drugs is simply "overwhelming." the seven-time tour defrance
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winner is accused of the most sophisticated doping in history. armstrong has consistently denied those accusations. and a russian court has freed a member of a notorious punk band buzz has upheld two-year prison terms for other members. the freed member was stopped as she tried to enter a church to perform with the band, the musicians and supporters are vocal critics of president vladimir putin. the ruling is "only a half measure in achieving justice." and a meningitis outbreak traced to the new england compounding center shows no signs of slowing down. 28 more cases have been reported in the past day. that's 137 total with a dozen deaths. a pharmacist says she warned congress a decade ago that lax oversight of so-called compound pharmacies left them vulnerable to a threat like this. compound pharmacies make and distribute prescription drugs.
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and it doesn't look like much, but this portrait was invaluable to the gallery it was stolen from. the so-called "crying elvis" was stolen from boston's museum of bad art. no one's sure when the theft took place and police have been contacted. but the curator is said to be all shook up. now, wolf, i guess they're looking for a hound dog. i couldn't resist. >> who writes that material? >> good stuff there, wolf. >> thank you, lisa. up next, our own dana bash sat down with republican vice presidential running mate paul ryan. they spoke a little bit about how his hunting routine could actually wind up helping him during tomorrow night's debate against joe biden. next hour, a look at the group of ohio voters who could determine the next president of the united states. inspiration. great power. iconic design. exhilarating performance.
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so you're back to full speed. [ male announcer ] icy hot. power past pain. there's no doubt paul ryan is meticulous and disciplined politician. dana bash found out just how much when she sat down with the republican vice presidential nominee for an exclusive interview. >> wolf, i'm told that paul ryan has been preparing for this debate pretty much since the day he was picked. i sat down with ryan for an exclusive interview about how he's getting ready for tomorrow night's debate. and it became clear that the intense cramming and practicing he's doing is hardly new. it's who he is. i want to start by telling you what a source who i spoke with said about you and how you prepare for hunting. you wash your clothes in nonscented detergent, you shower in nonsented soap, you spray special nonscented stuff on your boots. i know this is somewhat typical for hunting, but you take it to a whole other level. >> if you're into archery and
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bow hunting, that's the way to do it to be successful. i like the strategy of bow hunting. it takes a lot of preparation. and i do take it seriously because i'm much more successful if i do things properly and prepare the right way. >> how does that speak to how meticulous you are in doing anything in your life? >> yeah. i mean, i've always just believed if you're going to do something, do it well. you're talking about the debate, i suppose. joe biden has been doing this for a long time. he ran for president twice, he's a sitting vice president, he's been the stage many times before. that's new for me. i'm doing my homework and studying the issues. i know ho he'll come and attack us. the problem he has is he has brohm's record he has to run on. >> are you intimidated at all based on the background? >> i'm not intimidated. i'm actually excited about it. >> ryan's sources insist that of the four candidates participating in these high profile debates, ryan has the toughest job. why do they say that? because they say he isn't just boning up on his own record over the years, he has to make sure
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what he says mirrors the positions at the guy at the top of the ticket, mitt romney. that's not as hard for biden they say since he's been part of the obama administration for four years. still, ryan himself reminded me that he does have experience debating. after all, he has been a member of the house of representatives for seven terms. wolf. >> dana, thanks very much. dana's full interview by the way tomorrow night. you can watch tomorrow night's vice presidential debate of course right here on cnn. our extensive live coverage starts 7:00 p.m. eastern. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama finally explains his poor showing in that first debate with mitt romney. was it just a question of manners? also, while polls show mitt romney turning things around, he still faces a big hurdle in a critical battleground state. why ohio's so-called walmart moms may not be sold on the republican nominee. and should race or ethnic background be considered when students apply to college?
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the u.s. supreme court weighs a new challenge to affirmative action. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the obama administration got a grilling today over the assault on the united states consulate in benghazi, libya, that took the lives of the united states ambassador and three other americans. state department officials took a lot of heat in a partisan congressional hearing. and the white house was also bombarded with questions today about the handling of the entire incident. let's go live to our white house correspondent, dan lothian. he's got the very latest. dan. >> reporter: wolf, you know, this was the first briefing that we've had in about two weeks because the president has been on the road. some tough questions about what
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the white house knew about the benghazi attacks and when -- what they did with that information. remember, it took jay carney more than a week to finally label it a terrorist attack. today he stood by those early briefings where he suggested that the video which led to unrest in the region also may have contributed to the attack that killed the four americans. and he said that all that information was based on the information that they had gotten at the time. >> initial assessments in the immediate aftermath of the attack in benghazi were made. and there was a government wide assessment that was the foundation of what ambassador rice said, what i said and what others said. it is what we knew based on the limited facts we had available to us at that time. >> when did the white house learn that there was no protest in benghazi? >> we've been very forthright all along on the information that we've had based on not opinion, not what folks have said or want to say on television, but on the
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assessments by those who make these assessments for the united states government. >> reporter: now, since he sidestepped that question i asked him again when the white house found out that there was no protest out there. i got a similar answer. now, there's been a criticism that the white house has not been transparent in this entire process. but white house spokesman jay carney saying that the american people have not been misled, wolf. >> dan, the president today addressed that lackluster behavior performance he had in the first debate. tell our viewers what he said. >> reporter: that's right. we've heard the president at a couple campaign events postdebate joke about his debate performance. well, he was asked for the first time on the tom joyner morning show this morning about what happened, what went wrong. the president seemed to be blaming good manners. take a listen. >> the debate, i think, it's fair to say i was just too polite. because, you know it's ha to sometis just keep on saying what you're saying isn't true. it gets repetitive.
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it's fair to say we'll see a little more activity at the next one. >> reporter: now, some would argue that there was a much bigger problem than being just too polite in that debate. either way, campaign aides tell us that the president will be much more aggressive in that second debate, wolf. >> we'll find out soon enough. thanks very, very much. jack cafferty joining us right now has a little more on how the white house has responded to that attack in libya. jack's got the cafferty file. jack. >> well, president obama talks about big bird on the campaign trail, the real topic begging for answers is what happened in benghazi on september 11th? the murder of a u.s. ambassador and three other americans amid what appears to be insufficient security is not something that this administration, this president, wants to talk about. consider this, until today there had been no white house press briefing for more than two weeks. meanwhile, it took the fbi three
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weeks to get to the scene in benghazi after that deadly attack allegedly for safety reasons. three weeks. this is rightfully raised concerns about sensitive documents being left unsecured at the consulate compound. the state department insists no classified documents were left on the premises. really? a cnn reporter walked into the compound and retrieved the ambassador's personal journal three days after the attack. what else was left behind? the administration continues to change its story about what happened and why. initially we were told the attacks were a reaction to a film made by an american mocking the prophet muhammad. more than a week later they called it a terrorist attack. potentially linked to al qaeda, after it was learned that a libyan security official had warned of a possible attack three days before it happened. and now we learn that repeated requests for additional security for that compound were ignored.
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finally, the benghazi timeline shows there were no protests before the attack. there's a reason the president doesn't want to talk about benghazi, the way it was handled both before and after the murders is a disgrace. expect mitt romney to ask the president about all this when a future debate turns to the subject of foreign policy. here's the question, why won't president obama talk about benghazi instead of big bird? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on my blog. or go to our post on "the situation room" facebook page. wolf. >> get ready for lots of comments, jack. thank you. with the latest polls showing a tightening race for the president, mitt romney has closed the gap in many, ny key areas. but in the all-important battleground state of ohio he still faces a huge hurdle, the so-called walmart moms. here's cnn's chief national correspondent john king. >> reporter: wolf, governor romney is back in play here in ohio because he's improved his standing in the suburbs and among independents.
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but if there's one big warning sign here, it comes from white women. the lights still on past midnight. another 20-hour day for jessica lundgren. >> i'm a single mom to a 5-year-old little girl who's fantastic. i work full time and go to school full time. so my day usually starts around 4:45 in the morning. and ends close to 1:00 a.m. you do what you have to do in this economy. >> reporter: her vote is for jillian's future. she was leaning mitt romney until his own words pushed her back to undecided. >> speaking about the 47%. i can't really worry about them. how can you put your faith and trust in a candidate that doesn't care about everybody? >> reporter: to win ohio and other key battlegrounds, romney must overcome the doubts of working moms like jessica. a post-debate bounce, but white women the battleground within the battleground.
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52% support the president now. that's up from the 47% he received here in 2008. >> they're all worried about putting food on the table, raising kids who are happy and healthy who are going to have a good future, going to graduate into an economy where they can find a job. >> reporter: democratic pollster has been studying so-called walmart moms for several years. >> we've seen them prove to be swing voters over the years. in 2008 they voted for obama. in early 2010 they were a little bit more divided. by november 2010 they were decidedly republican. >> i was wondering if mitt romney and paul ryan and josh can count on your vote in this election. >> reporter: like this 2008 obama voter who is now a romney ohio volunteer. >> he let me down. i was very, very hopeful he was going to be the guy to turn everything around in america and make everything better. and he just -- his words were empty. >> reporter: but romney might have only himself to blame if more white middle class moms side with obama this cycle.
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>> let's pray. >> lord jesus -- >> reporter: a conservative christian, a 2008 john mccain voter who recently undecided to lean obama offended she says by romney's 47% remark. >> i think i heard it on an obama ad and then i googled it. i feel like he's out of touch with what everybody's going through. ohio is one of the hardest places hit. >> reporter: it hit home because this family got government help while husband ray was unemployed for a bit. >> my reaction to what he said is that's me, he's talking about me. >> reporter: three teenagers and a husband who just found work two hours away shaped sharon's politics. while she promises to listen, the hour is getting late. governor romney running out of time to prove he understands her struggles. governor romney hopes that 47% remark fades as the debates continue and the election nears. but some local republicans aren't so sure and arguing among other things for an ann romney tv ad aimed directly at those
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women with doubts. wolf. >> john, thanks very, very much. this important programming note, you can watch tomorrow night's vice presidential debate right here on cnn. our extensive coverage starts 7:00 p.m. eastern. the question that appeared to catch mitt romney off guard. you're going to hear parts of my interview with the republican presidential nominee. also our strategy session, we'll assess. and millions of cars recalled for a problem that could cause fires. is your car on the list? [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role
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a pakistani girl attacked for speaking out against the taliban is recuperating right now from a major surgery. lisa sylvester's monitoring that some of the other top stories in "the situation room." lisa, what happened? >> well, wolf, doctors worked for three hours to remove a bullet lodged in her neck after the attack. taliban militants opened fire yesterday on the 14-year-old blogger on her way home from school. last year she was awarded
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pakistan's first national peace prize for her online writing. and she spoke with our reza sayah about why she was speaking out. >> so i thought that i must stand up for my rights, the right of education, the right for peace. so i didn't. >> some people might say, you're 14, you don't have any rights. you just have to listen to mom and dad. >> no, i have rights. i have the right of education. i have the right to play. i have the right to sing. i have the right to talk. i have the right to go to market. i have the right to speak up. >> what an amazing girl she is. and the taliban issued a chilling threat though today saying if the teenager survives this time, they will "certainly kill her the next." and toyota is announcing a global recall of more than 7 million cars. about 2 million here in the u.s. due to a power window problem that poses a fire risk. no accidents or deaths have been reported. the recall which includes a variety of models across multiple years is the company's
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largest since its infamous sticky accelerator issue back in 2009 and 2010. and if you've had your air bags replaced in the last three years, federal officials are warning they could be counterfeit and dangerous. authorities tested ten fake air bags seized as part of a criminal investigation. and each one failed. they say you're most at risk if you've had the bags replaced at a repair shop, own a used car or purchased the air bags on the internet. for more information you can go to safercar.gov. and the man many of us came to know on the football field and webster's lovable guardian on the hit '80s sitcom has died. alex karras was a first-round draft pick by the detroit lions but later suspended for gambling on league games. it was soon after that that he turned to acting, which ultimately led to movie roles and the webster series. he was 77. a lot of people remember that very popular series.
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>> our deepest condolences to his family. alex karras was a great, great actor, turned out to be a great actor, also great sports caster and great football player. grew up watching him. president obama now says he was too polite in that first debate. should the president have taken off the gloves? what should he do in the next debate? i'll ask roland martin and rich. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." ? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula. everyone in the nicu, all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment.
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vice president joe biden and congressman paul ryan are getting ready right now to go head-to-head in their first and only vice presidential debate that starts a little bit more than 24 hours from now. but it's mitt romney's huge debate win that still has a lot
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of people talking. yesterday in my exclusive interview i asked romney if the man who prepared him for that performance, senator rob portman of ohio, was actually a tougher debater than the president turned out to be. >> senator portman is very effective. i think president obama and i both had a good chance to describe our respective views as to how we'd do a better job. and i frankly think i benefitted from the fact that rather than having people learn about me from ads prepared by my opposition, they got to actually hear what i would do from myself. and i think that helped me. i think the president also got to lay out his plans. and people were able to make a comparison. but as for rob portman, he's pretty effective guy. >> were you surprised by the president's performance? >> i actually thought he described pretty appropriately and pretty effectively his policies.
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i just happened to disagree with those policies. i mean, when we talked about the economy, he really is not proposing anything he hasn't talked about for the last four years. which is another stimulus, hiring more government workers, picking winners and losers in industries that he favors, raising taxes. these are ideas he's had for some time. and frankly we've tested those ideas over the last four years. and they have not led to the kind of job growth americans want. but i think the challenge that he has is that his ideas are just not demonstrating the kind of results he would hope for. and people recognize that. >> are you confident, governor, that paul ryan will take on joe biden thursday night the way you took on the president? >> you know, i don't know how paul will deal with his debate. obviously the vice president has done, i don't know, 15 or 20 debates during his lifetime. experienced debater. this is, i think, paul's first debate.
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i may be wrong. he may have done something in high school. i don't know. it would ba new experience for paul. but i'm sure he'll do fine. and frankly paul has the facts on his side. he has policy on his side. and we also have results on our side. so i think he'll -- i think you'll find in the final analysis people make their assessment on these debates not so much by the theatrics and the smoothness of the presenter but instead on whether they believe the policies being described, the pathway being described will make their life better or not. i just think the american people recognize that the president's policies are not something we can afford for four more years. we just can't afford more of what we've gone through. and they want something new. >> governor romney speaking with me yesterday. let's discuss in our strategy session. joining us right now cnn political contributor roland martin and republican strategist rich gayland. guys, thanks very much for coming in. let me start with you, roland. representative ryan, he says now he expects joe biden, the vice president, to come at him like a
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cannon ball, his word. is there concern that biden could be too forceful as opposed to the way the president behaved in that first debate? >> of course not. first of all, if you look at vice president biden's speech at the democratic national conventionhe knows how to shift tone. this is a guy who is owed the judiciary committee in the senate, the confirmation hearings for supreme court justices. so i think he relishes the opportunity because team obama frankly needs to have a different narrative. i would suggest to congressman ryan he do prepare for a tough grilling. but keep in mind it was vice president biden who was lead negotiator for the white house in these deficit talks. so ryan won't be able to come in and somehow own the economic conversation. biden gets to show his foreign policy experience as well. i think this is going to be a much more pivotal debate. and i think it is important for vice president biden to turn the corner in terms of the momentum for ryan to continue it based
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upon last week. >> these debates obviously do matter. just take a look at what happened last week. >> right. >> so, rich, you think it's going to get nasty? or will it be very polite but substantiative? >> i think the latter. i think it will be polite but substantiative. roland, i wrote this morning that i can't imagine that shig wanted the narrative and pivot point of this campaign to rest on the shouders of joe biden in his debate with ryan. and the other part of this is that, you know, the vice presidential debates, the younger of these folks -- i go all the way back to dan quayle, the bar is much lower. and you remember, wolf, that if you were in the hall that night of the quayle -- who was it the guy from texas -- >> fellow texan, come on, rich. >> i know. i just couldn't think of his name. but the people in the hall thought quayle did well enough
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it looked different on television. sarah palin the last cycle did well enough. biden clearly won the debate. but she didn't make a fool out of herself. so the bar is much lower for ryan than it is -- >> no. i can't accept that, wolf. and at some point we've got to be honest we're having these conversations. we are having a vice presidential debate tomorrow. this is for the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. i don't want to hear any conversation about a low bar. i wrote a column last week on cnn.com saying i'm tired of lowering expectations for people who are running for president or the vice president. i have a high bar tomorrow night for vice president biden. a high bar for congressman paul ryan. i don't want somebody to simply come out and say their name and it's all good. they should be able to converse about policy. they should be able to talk about it. and so just okay, no. raise the expectations. we do it for our kids in the classroom. do it for the folks that want to be vp. >> well, this isn't for you or me. we know who we're voting for.
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this is for the people who may still be on the fence. i understand that. but i think when we're talking about how people will react to this, i think the expectations for the vice president are far higher than they are for a congressman who's got far less experience. >> hold that thought for a second. i want to put on this screen the poll we did before the first presidential debate back at the end of september. we asked who will win the vice presidential debate? 39% thought biden would. 55% ryan. remember, that was before the debate. that's expectations pretty high for ryan going forward. but let me play this clip. this is the president today speaking on the tom joyner morning radio show talking about his performance last week. >> the debate, i think, it's fair to say i was just too polite. because, you know, it's hard to sometimes just keep on saying what you're saying isn't true. it gets repetitive. but the good news is is that's just the first one. i think it's fair to say that we
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will see a little more activity at the next one. >> was it just, roland, that he was too polite in tt first debate? was that the reason he didn't do as well as romney? >> he was way too polite. he should have been far more aggressive. he allowed far too many of romney's lies to simply go by and not slapping them back. so he should have been far more aggressive in terms of challenging mitt romney. and as my good friend joe madison of sirius xm radio has said on my show, it's very simple. president obama showed up. candidate obama showed up. so i think he got a swift kick in the butt and he realizes that he simply can't go in there and be mr. nice. he has to get his head in th game and focus when romney sits here and makes something up, you tag him on it. you don't simply led it slide. >> hold your thought, rich, for a moment. we're going to continue this conversation. we're also going to take a closer look at mitt romney on the so-called 47% in my
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interview with the republican nominee he explains why he first stood by those remarks and finally reputuated them. are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural. 100% delicious. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again.
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♪ . we're back with cnn political contributor roland martin and republican strategy rich galen. let's first return to my interview with mitt romney and that leaked comment he made back in may basically writing off 47% of americans. at first the republican presidential nominee stood by those remarks. then in recent days he repu reputuated them. >> well, what i'm saying is that what the words were that came out were not what i meant. and what i mean, i think people understand is that if i'm president, i'll be president of 100% of the people. my whole campaign is about helping the middle class have
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rising incomes and more jobs and helping get people out of poverty into the middle class. that's what this whole campaign is about. the wealthy are doing fine right now. they'll do fine most likely regardless of who's president. it's the middle class having a hard time under president obama. and my campaign is about 100% of the american people. and so that describes why what was stated in the tape was not referring to what kind of president i'd be or who i'd be fighting for instead was talking about politics. it just didn't come out the way i meant it. >> if you had a do-over, governor, and you mentioned 47%, what should you have said about that 47%? >> well, wolf, as you know i was talking about how do you get to 50.1% of the vote. i'd like to get 100% of the vote. but i figure that's not going to happen. so i was trying to tell contributors how i'd get to
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50.1%. i think it's always a perilous course. my campaign is talking about how to get 100% of americans to have a more bright and prosperous future. >> let's go back to roland or rich. why didn't he just say that on day one once this tape came out, rich? >> i think they were shocked. this was five, six months ago whatever. however far back may is. they didn't have a good answer. in fact, i did ask why it took so long for them to kind of come up with something. but in ts day and age, roland, you would expect that professional politicians should expect there are cameras or by the way princesses should expect there are cameras everywhere all the time. and you just have to be careful about what you say or what you wear. >> he had a good answer. he had a good answer, wolf. he gave the answer the night when he addressed it. the problem is and he doesn't want to be honest about it. let's be honest and not play
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games here. it's polling data. he saw the effect of those comments. and john king has reporting been spot-on in ohio. he got nailed when it came to working class white women, a group he was leading president obama with. so he had no choice but to recalibrate. that's why he had to say i was wrong. so, wolf, his answer's purely political. his true statement, his true feelings were what he said that night. i didn't hear him stumble. i didn't hear him stutter. he was quite clear. >> he said he was completely wrong, but that was only the day after that first presidential debate. and the president obviously missed an opportunity. >> yes, he did. >> he didn't even raise that 47% during that first debate. >> it's his version of being too polite. >> rich, let me start with you. how should in this vice presidential debate tomorrow night joe biden deal with this 47%? and how should ryan respond if he raises it? >> oh, i think the chicago campaign, the obama capaign, is -- understands that the
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strategy they had for that first debate was dreadful and they won't do that again. and i do think biden will come out with the 47% and for good reason. that's his base. biden for all the other things he does and for all the other things he says does connect dramatically and perfectly with the blue collar americans. and i think he's going to bring that up again and again and again over the course of the 90 minutes. for ryan, he can go back to his background as well. he can play that pretty much to a tie. he doesn't have to defend what romney said. he wasn't even the nominee -- i mean, he wasn't the vice presidential pick then. he can say here's the way i would have said it. this is what i would have done. these are the people i want to talk to. so i think it will be an interesting back and forth because their backgrounds are not that dissimilar. >> so, wolf, expect vice president biden to nail him when you're talking about the auto workers. you're going to hear a lot of references to scranton, pennsylvania. you're going to hear him talking a lot about those folks out there. jobs were saved not just gm, not
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just chrysler, but also the suppliers as well. you're going to expect him to force congressman ryan to defend romney's positions, which also some of them are counter to where ryan stands. expect the ryan budget to come up. catholic nuns, opposing cuts to poor, $716 billion worth of medicare to come up as well. trust me, ryan is going to have to defend his positions. and biden will be a lot more tougher on him. >> 46 million people on food stamps, roland. >> i understand that. >> 46 million americans on food stamps. >> i understand that. but also 31 consecutive months of private sector job growth. that's going to come out. and the question will be how will congressman ryan's plans decimate early childhood education, decimate higher education. >> what it does is decimates a program of hiring teachers. but it doesn't necessarily improve education. that's the difference. >> but mitt romney in the last debate said he loves teachers. now ryan is going to say cut teachers? >> no.
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he wants to improve education. >> by cutting teachers, that doesn't work well. >> if you look at charter schools, that's actually improving education. >> some. >> if you're job is to hire teachers, you can do that. if you want to improve education, you have to expand your thinking. >> i've broken down the education plans on my tv show and trust me, ryan budget decimates the education budget. [ overlapping speakers ] >> you guys are doing an excellent debate right now. i'm sure there will be an excellent debate tomorrow night as well. roland, rich, guys, thanks very much. >> thanks, wolf. this programming note for all of our viewers, you can watch tomorrow ght's vice presidential debate, the one and only vice presidential debate right here on cnn. our extensive coverage starts 7:00 p.m. eastern. should race play a role in college admissions? that controversial question is back in front of the united states supreme court. could this critical case mean the end of affirmative action on university campuses? [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness?
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very high stakes at the united states supreme court right now where for the first time in almost ten years the justices are weighing a critical question. should race play a role in college admissions? the real question that seemed to emerge today though, has affirmative action essentially run its course? cnn's crime and justice correspondent joe johns was inside listening to the questions and the answers, the arguments. how did it go? >> wolf, a very intense session at the supreme court today on an emotional legal issue that has divided the country for decades. is it okay to use race as a factor to decide who gets into colleges and universities? and the struggle at the court
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showed that tackling the issue today is no easier now than it was the last time they took it up nine years ago. abigail fisher dreamed of going to the university of texas at austin for most of her life. after applying, she didn't get in. attending louisiana state instead. but the rejection from u.t. led fisher to file a lawsuit against the school claiming she was squeezed out, unfairly denied admission because of her race. she's white. after arguments in her case before the court, she gave a short statement. >> i hope the court rules that a student's race and ethnicity should not be considered when applying to the university of texas. >> reporter: here's how the admissions process at u.t. works. the top 10% of each high school class statewide gets in automatically. for those below the top 10%, like abigail fisher who was in the 11%, the university uses what it calls holistic review where race is one of many
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factors used to achieve. questioned whether any university reached the right diversity mix. in sync with her lawyers who argue that say the university of texas did not have nearly tailored and defined goals for their diversity program. >> we're saying before you embark on the use of race, you ought to know what you're trying to achieve. >> reporter: justice ruth bader ginsburg said the big question was whether it wasn't enough diversity by itself. the university's president says no. >> there is not a business or a school in the country that if they needed ten new employees and said let's take resumes, got 500 resumes and then just said go take the top ten grade point averages, that's who we'll select. no interest in do you have experience in the field, do you have leadership, no one would say that's the only way that we
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can choose our student. >> reporter: on the u.t. campus, some minority students we talked to disagree with the point of fisher's lawsuit. >> i think she's fighting the wrong fight. >> reporter: minority student leader bradly pool argues that the u.t. admission process is fair. >> saying it's racist is probably one of the least parts of the review process. i feel like it's harping on one of the things -- on the easiest thing she could have went against. >> reporter: others take offense that the lawsuit implies some minority students are less deserving of admission than their white counterparts. >> to hear people saying that some of us latinos got in here easily and the only reason we got in here is because of our race, that's really disappointing. we work just as hard as anyone else did to get here to u.t. >> all eyes today on justice anthony kennedy who is seen as the swing vote in this important case. he did not tip his hand much today. but the question is whether he's more interested in making a
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narrow ruling than make gentle changes to racial preferences or perhaps a sweeping ruling that completely upends the way students are admitted to college in the u.s. >> we won't know for several months. >> months for sure. >> critically a very, very important decision by the supreme court. but based on you're hearing the arguments with the questions it's very dangerous to make predictions, how did it seem to you? what did you think? >> it looked very predictable quite frankly, wolf. the people on the right stayed on the right. the people on the left stayed on the left. anthony kennedy seen as a swing vote was the hardest guy to read. he'll be the guy making the decisions in all likelihood. that's what a lot of people predict. >> health care justice -- chief justice was the swing vote. we'll see what happens this time. you never know. >> that's very true. it's dangerous to make predictions. >> joe johns our justice correspondent and graduate of the american university school of law. he spent four years studying law yourself. >> thanks for the plug. >> thank you. joe biden and paul ryan couldn't disagree more when it
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you're looking at a live picture of the state department briefing room right now. the undersecretary of state for management patrick kennedy getting ready to make a statement, answer reporters questions on this fiery hearing that took place today up on capitol hill, a hearing involving the killing of the united states ambassador in benghazi, libya, and three other americans. once patrick kennedy goes there, i'm anxious to hear what he has to say. he's going to be responding to the committee republicans including the chairman, darryll issa. in the meantime go back to jack for the cafferty file. jack. >> the question this hour is why
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obama won't talk about benghazi instead of talking about big bird. pete writes from georgia, jack, consider his worshipping followers. 90% of them probably think benghazi's an italian line of shoes while feeling right at home with stories about big bird. for him to deal with reality on any is a line of italian shoes. >> rod writes that obama has to distract any attention from his record. they failed to secure the consulate in ben zazy. r writes personally, i don't want him to talk about it, especially when there's an investigation going on. did it not occur to anyone that there's a reason no terrorist group has taken responsibility? do you think it's a safe idea for the president or the secretary of state to broadcast what they know about the situation? mark says obama can avoid talking about what happened
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because the liberal media won't ask him the tough questions. b.j. says the administration can't talk about anything bad that happened on the administrations watch, it's easier to rail on an opponents comments. hugh says because romney talks about sesame street instead of wall street. if you want to read more about this, go to the blogs. a lot of love there, wolf. >> i think i know what he meant there. jack, stand by, we're waiting for a briefing at the state department, they will be reacting. we'll see what they have to say. well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms, with total customer support. legalzoom documents have been accepted in all 50 states,
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looking at a live picture of the state department briefing room. we're awaiting the secretary of state ambassador, patrick kennedy. he will be making a statement today on the house of representatives meeting about the killing of the ambassador in libya. lots of acrimony exchanged. all of a sudden a suddenly called briefing, statement by kennedy, and questions, i'm anxious to hear what they have to say, stand by for that. in the meantime, let's look at this hour's hot shots in indonesia. police hold a role call. a storekeeper sorts garlands, in germany, a baker presents the
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first loaves for the holiday season. the vice presidential debate, and over the years, they have sometimes turned into bruising battles. here is anderson cooper on what we might expect. >> nice to meet you. >> it started with a warm handshake and smiles all around. a friendly start to a vice presidential debate bens governor sarah palin. >> john mccain said at 9:00 in the morning that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. 11:00 that same day he said we have an economic crisis. >> we're tired of politics as usual, and that's why with all
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due respect, i think americans are craving something new and different. >> biden was careful, and he was aiming attacks at mccain, and not at her. >> that was planned because she was a woman, and both of those things are a little tricky to deal with. >> despite a lack of substance, ann list say palin d-- analy sa did well. tomorrow, he will be on the stage again against a more seasoned politician. >> he is fast on the cuff, witty, knows who he is, and he has been doing it for 40 years. he is very good on the attack. >> don't forget, the traditional role of a vice presidential
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candidate is to go on the attack. that's their job. so i think we'll see a lot more of that in the vice presidential debate than we did in the first presidential debate. >> reporter: vice presidential debates have been like to in the past. >> let me help you with the difference between iran and the embassy in lebanon. >> i almost resent your patronizing attitude that you have to teach me about foreign policy. >> and this got a blistering response. >> senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> the debate in 1992 was described as a free for all. >> in foreign countries, foreign aid -- >> senator, it's in your book on
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page 3 -- >> vice president dick cheney and john edwards was barely civil. >> the first time i ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight. >> he is wanted to go after medicaid, social security, and policy. >> i think he will get a zinger or two from joe biden. i don't think he is worried as being perceived as talking down to paul ryan. >> and other moments cobe important too, he showed his emotional side in the last debate. i know what it's like to wonder if your kid is going to make it. >> and because they have never gone head to head, anything could happen. and vice president biden and
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congressman ryan face off in their on vice presidential debate tomorrow night. you can watch it live on cnn and cnn.com. our coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern. happening now, a hearing about the quilling of the united states ambassador. and the mother of a dead navy seal chastises mitt romney. i'm wolf blitzer, and you're in the situation room. ♪ on the eve of the vice presidential debate, president obama is now speaking out candidly about his debate performance last week, and mitt romney's widely publicized
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statement on abortion over the past 24 hours. yesterday, the republican candidate told the "des moines register" there was no, repeat, no abortion legislation that was a part of his agenda. jessica yellin is joining us now from danville, kentucky, the scene of the presidential debate tomorrow night. what is he saying now, jessica? >> in an interview with abc news at the white house this evening, president obama acknowledges his debate performance essentially was a fumble, but he tries to turn the page and focuses instead on his difference iss with governor romney, and especially on mitt romney's rough day today as he tried to clarify his position and what he would do as president on the issue of abortion. >> that debate, what happened? >> governor romney had a good night, i had a bad night -- >> how bad? >> well, it's not the first time i've had a bad night, but i
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think what's important is the fundamentals of what this race is about haven't changed. governor romney went to a lot of trouble to try to hide what his positions are. >> soly not get an explanation of why you think that happened? why you had a bad night? >> maybe this is because i played a lot of sports when i was a kid and still do. if you have a bad game you move on and look forward to the next one and it makes you that more determined. the difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high. >> another issue in the news, abortion, legal abortion in this country. governor romney is now saying there is no abortion legislation that is part of his agenda. your campaign called that a lie. >> well, look. diane, this is another example of governor romney hiding positions he has been campaigning on for a year and a
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half. >> is it a lie? >> i think his position on, when it comes to women's rights to control their own health care decisions, what he has been saying, is exactly what he believes. he thinks it's appropriate for politicians to inject themselves in those situations. he made very clear that if a bill comes to his desk that overturns rowe verses wade, he said he would fully support that and appoint justices that will support it. >> that's the stark difference between the two campaigns that the obama team would like to be pointing out, but the president did not effectively point out at the last debate. indications are they are preparing for the president to do that more forcefully when they see him debate governor romney again on tuesday, wolf. >> and you're getting more information on tomorrow's vice
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presidential race. stand by, jessica, we'll come back to you in a few moments, the abortion comment is one of the few distractions the romney campaign has to deal with. let's get to kate who is monitoring some other stories. >> absolutely, mitt mney spent much of the day walking back those comments on abortion, or trying to clarify those comments on abortion. the campaign was also stung today by comments of a family of a navy seal killed in the benghazi attack. let's bring in jim acosta, who is with the romney campaign in ohio, jim? >> reporter: hi, kate, that's right -- >> it's been a staple of mn's recent stump speeches, the gop nominee talking about soldiers who have inspired him. >> i met some wonderful people.
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one was a former navy seal, and he -- we chatted for awhile. >> at three events in the last two days, romney has gotten choked up. >> it touched me obviously as i recognized this young man that i thought was so impressive lost his life. >> as he hailed the bravery of glenn doroghty. >> they went there. >> within an hour of his last telling of the story, his aides confirm that's he is dropping at anecdote. doherty said i don't trust romney, he should not use my son
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in his campaign. and it was said by the campaign that governor romney was inspired by meeting him, but we respect her wishes. he started last thursday when he talked about meeting a widow. she said chris died for them to be able to protest. she said she was humbled by romney's gesture adding that her husband used to say he needed a new president. >> my whole passion is about helping the american people who are struggling right now. i thought, wow. here is old moderate mitt. where have you been, boy? >> but democrats including bill clinton say romney has been trying to shift back to the
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center since last week's debate. they're pointing to what romney said to the "des moines register" about abortion. >> there's no legislation for abortion that i'm aware of that would become part of my agenda. >> what i would like to see happen is for the supreme court to say look, we will overturn rowe vs. wade. >> now, he is trying to cover them up. >> in ohio, romney tried to clarify his comments. >> i think that time and again, i'm a pro-life candidate and pro-life president. the actions i'll take immediately to remove funding for planned parenthood, it will not be part of my budget. >> that was jim acosta out in
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ohio. paul ryan is very busy preparing for his debate. ryan spoke about it exclusively in an interview with dana bash. >> paul ryan has been tirelessly prepping for tomorrow's debate with a group of about ten aides. they're working where ever they can get a few minutes, and they're not just making sure he has his own lines and arguments ready, they're also gaming out what joe booid listen come at him with. i sat down with ryan, and i asked if he called the last gop vice presidential candidate, sarah palin for tips. >> the only other person to debate joe biden is sarah palin, have you called her for advice? >> no, i haven't, i don't really
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know her. >> she famously, maybe infamously said she wanted to call him joe. >> i have known joe a long time, so -- he knows me as paul and i know him as joe. probably not unless he wants to make it casual, but we know each other. we have gotten quite well over the years. i like him quite well, i just disagree with his policies. >> the real question is how has he altered his prep? a source tells me they stepped up their focus on some of the major lines of attack. the infamous 47% line. questions about bain capital, and romney's own taxes. the president got so much flak from democrats for ignores what they thought were easy targets, ryan sources this the vice president will try to make up for it, wolf and kate? >> thank you, let's get back to jessica for more on these debate
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preps, she's in danville, kentucky, where the deblat be taking place, what's the latest you're hearing about th debate prep from vice president biden's side of this? >> what ibiden is in delaware. he has been working with his core team of ron clain, who has been running debate prep from the vice president and the president, and chris vanholland. a congressman that sits next to paul ryan on the podium in the house budget compete, and shala murray, is playing the role of the moderator.
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some of the president's debate prep team visited the president's for awhile, but they returned to the white house today, and we understand they, it would seem, went to the white house to help the president with his own debate prep. both men working ahead to their respective debates this week. both sides boning up a bit. the one thing do i understand we should look for something of a feisty debate tomorrow night, but nobody expects the vice president to make up for what president did last week. all eyes will be on the president for next week. >> but for the moment, all eyes on the running mates for a short time. will joe call him paul and will paul call him joe? we'll have to wait and see. we'll talk to you soon, jessica. this programming note, our coverage of the vice presidential debate will be tomorrow at 7:00. you don't want to miss that.
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>> right after "the situation room." >> and state officials are charged on a hearing on that deadly attack in libya, we'll hear some of the exchange. all the nurses wanted to watch him when he was there 118 days. everything that you thought was important to you changes in light of having a child that needs you every moment. i wouldn't trade him for the world. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us.
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vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. it was supposed to be a meeting to figure out what went wrong the day of that massive attack in benghazi, but it quickly became a political food fight. they grilled state department officials about that september 11th assault. four americans including an ambassador died. they charged that the facility was not adequately protected and they criticized the obama administration for blaming protests on an anti-muslim film. >> why in the world did you say it was anything at all when you put jay carney out there, and
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ambassador rice, so say this is the result of an inflammatory reaction to a controversial film. it begs the question of what happened was a result of political pressure trumping professional protocol. was it not? >> i have been a career foreign service officer, i have directly serves six secretaries of state. democratic and republican. on my honor, no, none political pressure was applied to me in this case by anyone in the state%, in the national security council. >> and it was a malpractice. >> you were monitoring that
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hearing today, there was a good explanation from the state department why the united states ambassador to the united nations, five days after this kept insisting it was a result of the film as opposed to a carefully plotted terror attack. >> i would not say there was a plausible explanation. the state department, what the whole administration keeps maintaining is this is the best information they had at the time. no one from the state department said that. the day after the attack, they were telling me this was not a protest, this was a planned military style assault. and the night before, last night, we were talking with senior state department officials. i think there was a little butt covering going on, but i don't think the state department never said that. >> this is one of the more fiery hearings that i have watched in
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awhile, and it went on for hours, really. did it break any new ground? >> i fortunately, i think this political grand standing on both sides now detracted from the fact that there were interesting things that came out, the security officer said he repeatedly sent letters to the state department, he asked for additional help and man pour, and it was denied. he kept saying listen, we felt pressure like every time we asked for more help, we were criticized. and because the state department would jump -- the committee was jumping on the witnesses, didn't really have time to fully answer the question, and i think it was unfortunate. >> all of your years of covering these committees, have you seen any hearings like this? >> we were talking about this earlier, i have been covering it for 12 years, i haven't seen
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anything like that. this is the committee's job for oversight and investigation, but i think that it did itself a disservice because it didn't allow the investigation to come out. there will be a couple other informations, the fbi, an an independent review board. certainly the state department has a lot of accounting to do. >> a lot of questions and democrats and republicans today are accusing the other side of playing politics. >> they were saying they cut budget -- >> arwa damon covered this story like no one else, she was at the american consulate. what you saw personally compared to what you're hearing now, how does it compare? >> it seems like the information coming out right now is starting to streamline along with the narratives that were were
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hearing just three days after the attack took plait. one of the libian security guards was unarmed, and form the first line of defense, told us he believed the attack was preplanned. there was no demonstration taking place. he could hear people's choices chanting and becoming increasingly louder from three different directions. he says the attack began immediately. he says the outer perimeter was very easily breached. show the u.s. initially claiming this was a demonstration turned violent. on the ground we were hearing different stories an conflicting information. it is certainly challenging to figure out exactly what took place, but it's also to note that the u.s. did not have anyone on the ground in the days following the attack after they
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evacuated all of their personnel, and gathering incredibly difficult if not in possible for them when it came to the sight of the consulate itself. it wasn't until three weeks later that the fbi showed up on sight. >> there are critical lessons to be learned from this. thank you arwa for that. still ahead, we'll be weighing in on the presidential race. energy is being produced to power our lives. while energy development comes with some risk, north america's natural gas producers are committed to safely and responsibly providing generations of cleaner-burning energy for our country, drilling thousands of feet below fresh water sources
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more shocking news today about lance armstrong, kate has that and some other top stories. this is another big story. the u.s. anti-doping agency introduced rems of evidence which they call the most successful doping program ever. 11 of his former teammates said they saw him use performance enhancing drugs. >> he had been at war with anti-doping agency, and they're showing people exactly how deep and how significant the evidence
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is against lance armstrong, and i think it's devastating. >> he denies doping, and his attorney calls it a one sided hatchet job. and the number of cases of meningitis is not slowing down. one woman saying she cold congress that compound pharmacies were dangerous. and florida governor rick scott was trying to get help for people. and the number he gave out for the hotline was one number off,
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and it was an adult hotline. >> and president obama talks candidly about his poor debate performance.
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(train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities.
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president obama's frank assessment today of his fist debate perform. he says, quote, i had a bad night. listen to his white house interview with diane sawyer. >> maybe this is because i played a lot of sports as a kid and still do. if you have a bad game, you move on and look forward to the next one and it makes you all that more determine the difference between this and sports is that the stakes are so high. >> the stakes are enormous. he had a bad game, if you will. let's bring in paul bagalla, -
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begala. when you're teaching a teenager how to drive, you know what the number one problem is? overcorrecting? and that's the number one problem for debaters. i watched al gore, i pore trayed bush in the debate prep, so i felt like vice president gore overcorrected. and if i were advising the president, maybe he is watching, he should not overcorrect. >> here is what james carville says is my hoppest and truthful sans that democrats are not panicked, and i'm not sure why,
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maybe i'm being silly, but people are saying the same thing, should by more concerned than i am. >> a few weeks ago, he was saying panic when the president was solidly ahead of romney. >> you don't believe there is a experience out there? >> other vs have poll conspiracies. as a president, i think he honestly said, he had a good night, the president had a bad night, and romney is gaining in the polls. the vice president needs a good debate, and then the president needs a good debate. the democrats like their candidate, unlike republicans, who had like a shotgun wedding.
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>> a lot has been made of the vice presidential debate, an an equal number of people are saying people don't vote for a vice president, they vote for a president, if joe biden wins, will it have an impact? >> you're right, nobody votes for the vice president si. when t late lloyd benson who was as able of a politician as i ever have seen in my life, his candidate still lost. so they don't vote based on it, but it's a 90 minute chance to connect with voters. and nobody makes a case for the middle class like joe biden duds. i think the vice president has to be careful about that and correct those misstatements of fact. i think this is a great
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opportunity to make the case. >> let me read something you wrote, so you'll know exactly what i'm talking about. >> you're a well read woman. >> someone that you know pretty well, you said the deep personal connection she able to make with an audience, the ability to attack without demonizing, the capacity to explain the mobs complex ideas in plain talk,nd treating people like intelligent adults capable of making the right decision aer hearing all of the facts, that is a glowing endorsement, but you're not talking about president obama, you're talking about president clinton, what should president obama learn from president clinton here? >> i think a fair amount. he had a bad debate, but the president is a terrific speaker and debater. he has to up his game. but you know, i was asked to write about him, and he is
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rerkable at those things. the point is president clinton makes about explanation being more important than eloquence is important. >> president obama admits that president clinton does it better than him. >> here is a little clip from last night. >> i had a little bit of a different reaction that's most people did. i thought, wow -- here is old moderate mitt? where have you been, boy? i miss you. >> from your mentor, the former president of the united states, he is a great asset for this president. he needs bill clinton big time out there. thank you, paul. >> mitt romney called out by the mother of a dead navy seal for
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machinery is calling for the united states to help arm syrian rebels. >> romney's senior foreign policy advisor is standing by to talk about that. first, listen to what wolf asked governor romney yesterday here in "the situation room." >> how do you make sure those weapons don't get into the hands of terrorists or al qaeda? >> we'll, wolf, this is part of making sure that we're shaping events as opposed to being at
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the mercy of events. it means we have intelligence resources, working with our friends in the region. we work together with them to identify voices within syria that are reasonable voices, moderate voices, that are not al qaeda. we try to bring those groups together, provide them with funding. other kinds of pport would include weapons. they could come from the turks or the saudis. >> dan, how do you make sure those weapons don't fall into the wrong hands? there is some concern. shoulder fire missiles could pose a threat. how do you make sure they don't fall into the wrong hands? >> we don't have a choice, wolf, we have to make the policy work. the current policy is totally
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failed, right? close to 30,000 syrians are dead. as if it's not tragic and stunning enough, it's a set back. syria, the only arab ally. it's getting arms to hezbollah, so it would be a strategic blow to iran. so you have the human dimension and the strategic dimension. we should have gotten through sooner through our resources and partners, so that the opposition, in it's early days, could identify the moderates and the people we could work with. weed out the bad actors, and give the moderate forces an upper hand. we're way behind right now. >> what kind of weapons is governor rol any talking about? >> we are going to leave the tactical issues to the military
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leaders with work with with our regional partners to come to a consensus. right now the decision needs to be made. is it in our interest to reach out, identify, expend resources for the moderate forces. what's the alternative? we do nothing, basically what we have been doing up until recently. and the extremist wills absorb the moderates, or they will defeat the moderates, either way the affiliates will have the upper hand, and the longer this drags on, if at's the outcome, the more of a set back it will be. >> dan, you say the current policy failed, but what you heard in that sound bite, isn't it essentially what the obama
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administration is doing right now? working with foreign partners to vet the rebel groups, to allow weapons to get in although they would be coming from the countries? that's the criticism that you're facing. how do you respond to that? >> for the longest time, the administration made the case for doing this. you look at early statements by secretary clinton, this was not as far back as she said that assa d assadbash -- she was making a case against supporting them until they show they have what it takes. we felt the opposition would not actually have a chance at success unless we put a spotlight on it. we gave them resources, it took a very long time. you were right that the
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administration has done more recently. we think they mad a strategic mistake. >> here is another exchange i had with governor romney yesterday, dan, it involves the redline that benjamin netanyahu drew when it comes to iran's nuclear program. listen to this. >> is there any daylight between you and the prime minister? >> there is no daylight between the united states and israel. we have similar interests and values, and we're committed to preventing iran from having a nuclear weapon. my own test is that ryan should not have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon. i think that's the same test that benjamin netanyahu would also apply. i cannot spaem for the president in this regard, but i think there is a recognition that the are boundaries the
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iranians may not cross, and hopefully military action is never necessary. hopefully through extremely tight sanctions and diplomatic action, it could lead to them never crossing that line. the scripling sanctions are having an exact on iran's economy right now. they will have an impact on the public there iniran, and there is great hope and real prospects for dissuading iran for taking a path that leads into a nuclear setting. >> that last part reminded me of statements from top obama administration officials, what they have been saying in recent months, listen to this. >> we know the sanctions for israel and the united states agree on that. >> iran is feeling the bite of the sanctions in a strong way.
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dan is still with us, before the break, we played those clips of what mitt romney told me yesterday, and what jumped out at me was two points. when he said we have a long way to go, and when he said the sanctions are very biting. so the question is this, is there any daylight between mitt romney and president obama when it comes to sanctions, and
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what's going on right now as far as iran's nuclear program is concerned? >> i agree that i think we all have a long way to go, and we all want a resolution. it's a race tow a nuclear that run is producing is way down a fraction of what it was a couple of years ago. gdp, a fraction of what it was. at the end of the day, there's only one measure of success, which is is iran still trying to build a nuclear weapon and further along than it was four years ago? so we believe the policy is failing. now, there's a range of pressure points, economic, we would have
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been -- implemented sanctions far sooner than the obama administration did. there's domestic political pressure in iran. there's the military threat, again, not the use of military force, but making sure the threat is credible in the eyes of the iranian. what this administration has done is consistently talk down that threat while putting a lot of daylight between the obama administration and the israeli government, which is sent mixed signals. it's an important question about how you have the credibility to deal with this issue. >> real quick, you've been helping congressman ryan prepare for the debate tomorrow. he's up against joe biden and someone who has a lot of foreign policy experience. paul ryan does not. how are you preparing? is he prepared for tomorrow? >> first of all, joe biden's one of the most experienced debate
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ers many american politics. david plouffe said one of the reasons president obama chose joe biden was because he won the debates in 2008, been vice president for a few years. as you know from public report, david axelrod has parachuted into the biden debate prep over the last few days. we know there's a lot of pressure on the vice president and he's very engaged and experienced. paul ryan i think will do just fine. he's up against you know, a real pro. on the foreign policy, i would say that congressman ryan not only in his role as budget committee chairman, he's worked on a lot of defense budgets, a lot of homeland security budget, those are not just numbers. those are big spending decisions. something he's thought about quite a bit. he hasn't been around as long as joe biden and hasn't been doing
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these national debates for as long as joe biden, but he's clearly engaged. >> we'll see how he does and if he does poorly, we'll blame you. >> have it no other way. >> from kentucky, getting ready for the big debate tomorrow night. by the way, at the top of the hour, erin burnett's talking about politics and foreign policy. erin, set the scene. what's coming up "outfront"? >>you know, wolf, there was an op-ed today written by rand paul, the senator and the headline was romney's wrong on the middle east defense spending. well, this is a guy what's one of the top surrogates and most well-known supporters of mitt romney. he's actually on the trail with him this week. this is a pretty impressive thipg for him to say. he's going to be our exclusive guest about why he thinks mitt romney is wrong. plus, as you know, there was all the testimony today about who knew what when at the state department on what happened with the horrific attack on our consulate in libya. glenn daugherty spent 12 years
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serving. he had a heroic act. wasn't even there to protect the ambassador and he was killed that night. which is his sister is going to be joining us and talk about whether she's getting the answers she needs about her brother. back to you. >> thanks very much. >> from the campaign plane to the heat of the campaign trial, some surprise help from someone standing by to cool a candidate. on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪ that make kids happy. and even fewer that make moms happy too.
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from president obama to clinton to chavez, from karzai to co colbe colbert, most people probably prefer to mop their own face, but why sweat the small stuff when a stranger does this. >> thank you, you, too -- >> awkward. molested by napkin, it happened to mitt romney as he was posing for a photo with the staff of a florida restaurant called the tin fish. between the rain that showered the candidate and the heat, the owner couldn't resist. >> just looked up and i'm like, i can't let our next president look all sweaty like this in a photograph, so i just folded up some napkins -- >> and his cheek and then he was fending off the offending arm. but joseph didn't just do it once. he went back for seconds. he felt he had to. joseph noticed a shred of
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napkin -- >> so i felt uncomfortable, do i reach up and grab it? >> oh, no, you didn't. this time, the candidate insi insisted on doing it himself. then hangy gate is on leno. >> look at this. no! horrible. >> candidates -- first a pizza shop owner bear hugs the president. now, a fish restaurant owner mops off the governor's brow without the secret service raising an eyebrow. posters had all kinds of theorys about the face wiper's motives. he's selling the napkin on ebay. the guy was just adding